Sugar cane

They flow in the meanders of streets and bars, warnings
By enslaved sugar cane harvesters from afar. The produce
As dangerous as lashes on disobedience, from sloshed owners
Of plantations delirious, over greed-resulting drunken folly.

Known to colonists for driving drinkers mad,
“Le rhum rend fou” they whisper in France, gulping
The brutal inebriating substance of wrong doings,
Turning blind eyes to ancient ports of human trade.

He was a descendent of those who stayed behind,
Only to later emigrate to the Metropole, unwanted
Reminders of ungrateful history. Parents working
Hard to fulfil disillusioned dreams of opportunities.

His amber bottle, his best friend, able to turn white
Sclera red, smiles into raging smears and slurs, be it
Not a swear word, using lexicon to hurt as pupils
Dilate, for looks to stab and offend, cursing blessings.

Easier to be a victim than take responsibility, blaming
All exception made for the precious liquid, bashing
Intentions with statements of futility, projects with
Sentences of failure, as the last drop burns a sore throat.

[Featured painting: Slaves cutting the sugar cane by William Clark, Colour illustration, 1823]


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